Chholar dhal (spiced Bengal gram)

Chholar dhal (spiced bengal gram)

Category: Main meal | Serves: 4

Prep time: 2 hours | Cooking time: 20-25 minutes


150g/5oz bengal gram or channa dhal

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 green finger chilli, slit lengthways

1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

1 bay leaf

Pinch of asafoetida

2 green cardamoms, slightly crushed

4 x 2.5cm/1in cinnamon sticks

1/4 teaspoon onion seeds

2 medium dried red chillies, stalks removed

1 teaspoon ground cumin

  1. Pick over the lentils to check for stones and then place in a sieve and wash under cold running water. Soak the lentils in 400ml/14fl oz cold water for 2 hours.
  2. Drain the lentils and put them in a saucepan with 250ml/9fl oz boiling water, the turmeric and green chilli.
  3. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Discard the green chilli and purée half the lentils in a blender.
  4. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan. Add the bay leaf, asafoetida, cardamoms, cinnamon, onion seeds, red chillies and cumin.
  5. Tip in all the lentils, stir and simmer for 5 minutes.

Nutritional information

Chholar Dhal